Kitchen lights tend to be more functional than decorative, but that doesn't mean you're stuck with the fluorescent panel reminiscent of your college apartment. But picking a light purely because it's beautiful isn't the best solution, either. Whether you're lighting a kitchen island or a small dining table, there are few types of pendant lighting that are just right for the kitchen:
Mini Pendant Lighting
Over most kitchen islands or bars, having a series of standard 8- or 10-inch pendant lights will overwhelm the kitchen's "skyline." That's where mini-pendants can come to the rescue. Mini pendant lights offer enough task lighting for meal prep and other kitchen duties. But they also add to the room's warmth and style, as the kitchen is becoming the primary place for casual gathering with family and friends.
A row of mini pendants over a counter provide direct lighting for kitchen prep, plus can add to the rooms overall style.
Linear Suspension and Multi-Light Pendant Lighting
Both linear suspension and multi-light pendants can hang beautifully over kitchen islands or over rectangular dining tables. They work best in kitchens that are spacious enough to handle a fixture with more length and presence. For both bright task and decorative kitchen lighting, use a decorative suspension along with recessed lights and undercabinet lighting.
Linear suspension lighting works especially well over a long counter or table to provide bright down light to the surface below.
Drum Pendant Lighting
Instead of mini pendants, consider placing 2 or 3 drum pendant lamps over a kitchen island. Drum pendants and drum chandeliers are not the first thing that comes to mind for kitchens, but they can offer a beautiful touch of elegance--elevating the charm and warmth of your kitchen when entertaining guests.
If you have the space, drum pendants can serve the same purpose as mini pendants, providing bright light for the room and great visual impact.
The Ideal Hanging Height
A good rule of thumb for installing mini pendants over an island is about 66” off of the floor. Your eye level should be below the pendants while standing. If you also use the island for sitting, try about 60” off the floor and adjust as needed for your height.
Accent the Kitchen Decor
Kitchen lights need to be functional first; but kitchen pendants are available in a huge range of modern styles and fun splashes of color, so don't be afraid to choose one that also complements the décor or even makes a statement in the room.
Take a Step Back
If you are installing a kitchen pendant yourself, have a helper survey your work from a distance to ensure it's in the right position before you finish.
"We just renovated a beautiful high-end Mid-Century Modern Home and put these pendants over the kitchen island. They are absolutely perfect for the space!" A2Renovator - Ann Arbor, MI
Grid II Pendant by George Kovacs